In all honesty I didn’t know motherhood was a ‘thing’ aside from being a care-giver, protector, all that malarkey, until I pushed a child out myself and desperately needed to find a group of women I felt connected to from the comfort of my own sofa. I wasn’t all that young when I gave birth (26) but I didn’t feel ‘mumsy’ either. I didn’t want to sniff out the next Boden sale and if I saw one more horizontal, nautical stripe or naff Travel Inn advert which was meant to appeal to me and my need for ‘a night off with the girls’, I was going to rip my eyelash extensions out (and they are expensive FYI).
(Thanks to some speedy work; Greg and I had only been dating a year before I fell pregnant so I was still pretty fresh from partying, being single & not giving even a minute’s thought to nice face creams).
A lot of women won’t share my love of fake tan or may think pleather dungarees are ridiculous (they are a bit, but they do just wipe clean). Many a woman will shop at Boden. Some may prefer H&M. Some may choose gin as a drink of choice, others avoid at all costs because it makes them get fighty (hello). Some are all up for Fruit Shoots, others; water only. There are soft play fans, park-dwellers, city gremlins; endless contrasts and quirks run through us in this motherhood lump because while yes, we all share one monstrous bond (you can take that to be the love for our children or the love for CBeebies), we’re all still just women.
This leads me on to the main point of today’s post; whether or not there’s room for all this mum blogging/social media-ing. Recently, I’ve been spotting a few digs & swipes geared around people being too similar in their approach, their brand or matching one another almost word for word on sponsored posts and adverts, and I think it’s all rather unnecessary.
Of course there’s room for everyone! COME ON IN.
Not each one of us will relate to the same person others do, we need this patchwork of stories. Do you know how many blogs I went through; tired, lonely, feeling actually a bit like an alien in my new identity before I found some women I felt confirmed I was doing an OK job? About 35. And that’s in one sitting. And going back & forth through endless blogs with only one hand while you breastfeed a six week old with the world’s painful-est breasts isn’t easy you know. You’re bloody desperate for a virtual pat on the back and this is why mum blogging has become so, so important. Sure, you can cry to your boyfriend that everyone in baby group eyed you with suspicion because you mumbled you ‘can’t really remember any nursery rhymes’ (who knew they only took requests?!) but he can’t really help. He’s as stumped as you are.
I feel like I personally take a bit of everything from mumhood on social media. I like the clean, monochrome tableau I’ll never, ever manage in my own surroundings. I like the stark reality and declarations of honesty. I like outfit suggestions which kick the notion mums dress like they were just mugged well and truly in the clunk. And I like genuine recommendations for products which might bloody help me with whatever it is now that my child’s decided to throw at me. The mundane, the funny, the stylish, the shit. It’s all there, from all different people and it’s a mecca of help and reassurance. Who the hell are we to chat about whether or not there’s enough room?
The media like to suggest we’re all fighty, middle class alley cats; smearing Charlotte Tillbury over one another’s changing bag & rugby tackling PRs out of our nemesis’ direction at every turn. In truth, the majority of us all know one another (be it in real life or just via sweary late night emails). I’ve passed on business contacts plenty of times and get repeatedly told by brands my name came up during a conversation with another ‘rival’ who recommended me. There’s no playground bullying here, it’s all about the leg ups. We hardly ever miaow down alleyways.
What actually seems very apparent is media wish we’d Just Fuck Off. ‘We’ve heard enough about motherhood now thank you! We get it! You have identities!’. Never mind the fact that there are more football forums which WRITE ABOUT THE GAME EVERYONE JUST WATCHED or three thoundred and eleventy nine Eat Clean, Get Ripply Tits sites where teens promote weight-loss shakes that actually just turn your anus in to a gravy boat; there’s simply not enough room for the new age of mum to chat about their lives and try to earn money doing it. Mums, y’know, the wimmin who are up all hours. Shopping online. Reading. Trying to mindmap how to afford to work from home. Very much invested in the world they live in.
Brand Mum still has a lot of growing to do until we’re acknowledged and respected, but we’re very much getting there. Like some sort of fiery swarm of flying ants, with labour-ruined flaps for wings. We’re working together both as a team and as individuals and any suggestion otherwise is quite frankly ridiculous. Yes, there may be similarities which may crop up and certain brands might not want to contact EVERY female they’ve come across in one go (hello Johnsons) but hey, it’s a big ol’ channel out there and social media isn’t rigid.
If truth be told, there’s plenty of space for everyone and we need to welcome any voice with open arms; someone out there will need to hear it and that’s really the only thing which should matter.